I work for a retail company that has many stores across the country, and a rather corporate environment. I also have a septum piercing, multiple tattoos, and mint colored hair. How did I get past my first interview? With a lot of research and extra prep.
If you have any facial piercings, take them out. There isn’t any way to get around this one. Most corporate environments won’t allow visible piercings, other than a reasonable amount in your ears. I have a septum piercing, and while I can wear it at work, I removed it during my interview. Remember, an interview is where you show off your ideal employee side!
Cover them up the best you can. If you can’t cover them with clothing, you may consider using makeup to cover them, especially if you think there may be the smallest chance that tattoos are not acceptable. Landing a new job can be tough; you want your brilliant intelligence to shine through and not lose the position to someone else just because you didn’t cover your tattoos! Depending on the company, having a little bit of a tattoo showing may be just fine. I knew ahead of my interview, that even though I was interviewing in a corporate environment, some of the people in Director and VP level positions had tattoos, so I didn’t take any extra steps to cover mine.
Unconventional Hair Color or Style
Not joking, my hair was Cookie Monster blue when I interviewed for my current job. It was also a long topped pixie with an undercut. I minimized its impact by making sure it was pulled back and very neatly styled, so it wasn’t a distraction. If you have a hair color that your grandma would raise her eyebrows at, then you are going to have to find the best way to wear it, so it is not the first thing noticed about you.
What to Wear
This doesn’t change. You’ll want to be sleek, polished, and slightly overdressed! The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you want your interviewer to focus on what you are saying, and not your statement necklace or neon yellow top. Always go for muted or neutral colors and err on the side of being more conservative than you think you should be.
Not sure what will be acceptable? Check LinkedIn! Find the company and look at the profile photos of the people who work there, it can tell you a lot. If the majority of the people have a professional corporate headshot, then you can assume that your pink hair might not be well received.
The Most Important Tip
Remember that if you follow the tips above and get the job offer, you may still have to keep your style toned down once you start the job. I’m lucky in that, once I began working, as long as I am dressed appropriately, having tattoos showing, colored hair and a septum piercing aren’t a big deal. If your style is important to you, then you’ll need to decide if it’s more important than the job. You don’t want to be miserable at your new job that you worked so hard to get!
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